Unethical Behaviour of Nurses to an Admitted Patient in Brisbane Hospital- Australia


Clare is a 20 year old female admitted to the emergency department of a large Brisbane hospital following a road accident in which she sustained trauma to her head and abdomen from impact with her bicycle handles.  She remained unconscious since the accident but her mother (Archana), father (Tom) and ex-boyfriend (they broke up 3 months ago) (Abdul) attend the hospital with her. Clare was a swimmer who had competed at a national level for 5 years. 

Clare has suffered a perforated large bowel. Surgery is required.  However, the treating team advise that there are two surgical options and a decision needs to be made regarding which approach to take.

  1. The first approach would result in Clare having a colostomy for 6 months or more. Clare would not be able to enter a swimming pool during this period.
  2. The second approach would remove the need for a colostomy but run the risk of a bowel leak and infection.

Tom and Abdul say that the second approach should be taken as Clare has always been concerned about her swimming career and would not want this jeapordised. However, Archana states that in a recent conversation with Clare, she said the stress was getting too much and she was going to take a year off from swimming to concentrate on other things.  Clare had said she would never do anything that might ‘put my long term health at risk’. Archana wants the first option.

Briony and Philip are nurses on Clare’s treating team who have been the primary point of contact for Clare’s family and friends.  Briony collects sporting memorabilia and notices that on Clare’s bag is a collection of key rings from all the international sporting events she has attended.  While both nurses are in Clare’s room, Briony removes a key ring and puts it in her pocket. Briony winks at Philip and says, ‘she won’t notice if she loses one’.

Apply the decision-making framework to this scenario.

Summary: This question belongs to business law and discusses about applying the decision-making framework to a scenario based on the events in the given case study.

Total word count: 1520


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